Monday, June 4, 2012

The 'R' Word


Well, I thought that since my last post happened to be "First Query Letter... Ever", I think it's only natural that "Rejection" is my topic for today.

So... I got my first rejection letter.

It's expected, of course.  We've all heard that story of J.K. Rowling having to query about a hundred times before she ever got accepted.

I have to say, it's embarrassing to admit that I was a little disappointed.  It's embarrassing because I don't want to be disappointed.  But when you love something so much and you get 'rejected', it just isn't... reassuring.

On a more positive note, they're sending back fast.  The first person I sent to got back within two days, and the second sent back over night.  And even though both were rejects, at least I didn't have to wait so long.

The good news is I picked myself up and am back with a new evil plot to take over the world with my books  plan to get published.  But more about that some other time ;)

How do you guys feel (honestly) when you get rejection letters?  How many times have you had to query?


--Jess

21 comments:

Carrie-Anne said...

I queried about 28 agents, I think, for my contemporary historical Bildungsroman last spring, and got all rejections, in spite of two full requests (of which I actually only sent Parts I and II instead of the whole thing). I now realize I was approaching it all wrong for a number of reasons. People have really liked the excerpts I've been sharing on Saturdays on my blog for almost a year now, so at least I know it wasn't me but the way I was querying.

The least-favorite rejections I got were one for the above book that simply said "No, thank you." That seemed rather rude and unprofessional for what's supposed to be a business letter. Where I come from, that's not supposed to be the one and only line of a professional communication! I also didn't like the form rejection I got for my Russian historical novel, from an agent who specifically said on her agency's blog that she was very interested in long, sweeping sagas like GWTW and The Thorn Birds, and didn't care if a book were a lot longer than what other agents would accept nowadays. I'd been expecting at least a partial request from her, since she'd seemed like a perfect match for that book.

KatieO said...

Hang in there and keep querying.

If you're getting form rejections, maybe take a closer look at who you're sending it to - are they looking for stuff like your book? If it's a publisher, do they have similar titles in their stable?

Take another look at your query letter, maybe submit it to one of the blogs that goes thru queries and gives advice (like Query Shark, or Matthew McNish's QQQE blog)Maybe you're not making your point as clearly as you could?

And don't stop writing while you're querying this book. Start a new project - the waiting is the worst part, I think. It was the second book I wrote that became the first book I sold ;-)

Good luck!

Ms. Snip said...

My first rejection was later was difficult, too. I think we all secretly hope that we are the exception to the rule - the one that gets picked up instantly ...
But honestly, if it was that easy, everyone would succeed, right?
Never give up. Never stop writing.
Because the one "yes" in the stack of "no's" is totally worth it and that's coming for you one day.

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Rejection comes with the territory. It's always easy for someone else to tell you - "you'll get used to it" - but the first few are the toughest. Just remember, it's nothing personal. Heck, most of the time it isn't even about your writing. It could be that the agent/publisher stopped in for a double double to find out they didn't have any cream and then maybe they almost got hit by a passing car as he/she ran across the street to their glass and brick office building down the block. Sad, but true sometimes. Perservere until you find the right person on the right day.

Good luck
Wendy

fairbetty said...

((hug)) Don't let it get you down! Rejection is part of living and learning! Also, don't be embarrassed to be disappointed!!! Disappointment really just shows that you care about something... and while it seems easier to shield yourself from disappointment by not caring, it's not the same and embracing life and all the hairy emotions that come with it!

Keep it up, grasshopper. You'll get there.

I love seeing all your projects listed along the side of your blog. You're inspiring.

Julie Dao said...

*pats back* You have such a great attitude about it. Keep it up. Ditto what Katie said... double-check your query and the agents you're sending to. Check in more than one place to make sure they accept the genre you write. I've come across entries on QueryTracker that said an agent likes one thing, when their blog says they're moving away from it. Research research research. I'm on the brink of querying right now so I'm trying to suit up and be prepared :) I'll test the waters by sending out only 3-4 at once.

Aldrea Alien said...

Let me see what my spreadsheets say (what? You're not keeping spreadsheets? Helps me not query the same agent twice. ^_^) ...
Got up to 25 for my 187k sci-fi fantasy (got a full request from an indie pub when I gave up on agents for it, they eventually decided it might be a little too 'out-there' to market for).
13 for my smaller, more normal fantasy (best rejection I've gotten there ended with: At this time, I'll have to pass. Please do keep me in mind for future projects).
Finally, 7 for my paranormal novelette.

I'm still waiting on some responses (and some don't at all, which kind of annoys me as I like to know they got it) but, to be honest, I've grown so used to seeing rejections that their power over me has dulled to a twitch of a brow and a move into a folder.

Rena said...

Rejection just hurts. Yes, after a while it hurts less, but it still hurts. How much so? even after more than 50, I still spend most of the day really upset. At least I can still do work, I used to just melt down, fixated on the rejection and over analyzing what turned out to be form letters (oh, yeah, that's another thing, sometimes they sound like they're personalized, but when you query more than one project, you find out that, nope, it was a form rejection).

There is a good thing though, after a bunch of rejection letters you can honestly say that something isn't working. That's an indication to try again.

And don't give up. Rejection sucks.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Rejection sucks. I've never really dealt with it very well, but it's something that I'm working on. I've actually kept one of my rejection letters, and I'm saving it for the day that I get an acceptance letter instead. I can toss the old rejection for better things. :)

Don't give up.

Jessica Love said...

Congratulations on your first rejection...now you're a real writer!

Rejections hurt, and they are hard, but they are a reminder that you are out there trying, and you'll never get anywhere if you don't try.

Angela Brown said...

I'm not going to lie and say it felt okay when I got my first rejection. This was for an MS that has been on pause for a while. I really thought I had something really great and just couldn't understand how it "just wasn't a good fit".

Did not like it. But I learned to take the rejections less personally. No is not my favorite word to have to hear, but I know that I'll be hearing it again when I query my next work. I'm a little tougher now. But I highly doubt I'll be any happier about being rejected. It's part of the game, but it doesn't mean I have to like it :-)

Chuck said...

Sounds like you are getting some good advice from these other comments. I will just say hang in and keep pushing the rock forward.

Michelle Pickett said...

I still feel disappointed when I get a rejection--and I've received a lot of them. More than I'd care to count. And it doesn't matter if you've received one or fifty-one, they suck all the same. But they do make that acceptance letter all the more sweeter when it finally comes.

Don't give up!

Michelle
www.michelle-pickett.com

Susan Kane said...

At this stage in my life, I will take any letter--rejection included. Have developed more perspective as I get older, or maybe my eyesight is failing.

Tobi Summers said...

Don't be embarrassed. I haven't queried my novel yet, but I've submitted short stories and been rejected, and it stings every time. Knowing that it happens to everyone, even the greats, helps, but it doesn't completely take away the disappointment. But you seem to have a good perspective on it, and you're making lemonade, so it sounds like you're in pretty good shape.

Good luck!

Jamie Burch said...

I think you have a thicker skin than I do! Kudos to you for putting yourself out there in the first place and now picking yourself back up to do it again.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Liz said...

Rejection stings. But the fact that you sent out a query means you're doing better than all those that haven't even gotten that far. Keep at it.

Gina Gao said...

Ugh...I know how getting rejected feels like. I hope you get successful soon.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

davidgmckendry said...

Maybe this could be the catalyst for you to become a successful SELF-PUBLISHED author!! :)

Reiko said...

I have never received a rejection letter. Then again, I have never sent out a query letter, either! I self-published my book because I believe in the content. In fact, I knew all along that no one else could possibly believe in it better than I do. Thankfully, I’m quite encouraged by the reviews from the people that purchased and read it so far – albeit still a small sample of 44 people since the publication nearly three months ago. I’m working diligently to eventually hit a critical mass where the sales volume would, hopefully, explode. For some reason, I know deep inside that it will happen sooner or later. Love, Grandma

wchaser said...

It's never nice, but it does get easier. It obviously works slightly differently in the UK, for most agents these days you drop them an email with the first 3-4 chapters and a synopsis. And then wait. Then wait some more, usually for anything from 2-4 weeks and that's a killer, especially since they 'prefer' you to only send it one agency at a time. But keep your chin up, the most important thing is that YOU believe in your work.....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...